Promoting Emotional Regulation | Special Needs Resources

Promoting Social & Emotional Regulation

Social and emotional regulation is a crucial step in development. Teaching and practising self-regulation with your child can help them get through challenging situations and learn techniques for self-control, self-soothing and calming in a range of situations. It can also help them develop skills that aid in addressing situations that can invoke anxiety and stress. 

Read on to find out which tools can assist with social and emotional learning, how to improve social awareness, and the importance of emotional regulation.

What is social & emotional regulation?

According to BeYou, “when children and young people learn to self-manage their emotions, they feel more confident, capable and in control. They have stronger relationships, are more able to pay attention, learn new things, and cope better with daily life’s normal stresses and disappointments.”

If a child has poor social and emotional regulation skills their reactions to challenges may not be appropriate to the situation, leading to social isolation and exclusion.

This can cause issues at home, school and in social settings. Social and emotional regulation products help aid children into easing their way and thriving in a socially complex world.


Why is social & emotional regulation so important?

Learning social and emotional regulation techniques will enable skills and competencies to manage behaviour, relationships and emotional reactions.

Emotional regulation activities for kids involve your child having opportunities to practice critical social skills through the act of play and social activities. These sensory aids can help with:

  • Being resilient
  • Cooperating with others, such as teachers and students in class
  • Coping with stress
  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety
  • Making friends
  • Managing conflict
  • Recognising and managing their feelings
  • Coping with negative ADHD tendencies
  • Supporting children and adults with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified 5 key areas that encompass social and emotional learning. 

They include such benefits as: 

  • Relationship skills: Learning about cooperation and working with others will help your child establish and maintain rewarding and healthy relationships.
  • Responsible decision-making: When your child understands social norms, ethical standards, and safety concerns, they make more well-informed decisions. 
  • Self-awareness: When your child identifies and recognises their emotions, they develop self-confidence while understanding their strengths and interests.
  • Self-management: By learning how to regulate emotions, your child will be able to handle and control impulses, such as fidgeting regulation and emotional outbursts. 
  • Social awareness: Learning social awareness will help your child empathise with others while recognising that individuals and groups have similarities and differences.

How can we promote social & emotional regulation?

The experience of daily living, attending school and social activities, exposes individuals to a range of emotional responses everyday. 

Social and emotional regulation products aid in teaching how to identify feelings and express those feelings in a healthier way. They practice exposure to different situations and promote strategies for coping that are helpful in managing behaviours.


Identifying different emotions

There are many ways you can teach your child about the different emotions they are feeling. Emotional posters help them identify and record emotions, while emotions cards describe their feelings. The Feelings Flip also illustrates different emotional states.

Once your child can identify their emotions, they’ll be able to:

  • Respond more appropriately in challenging social situations
  • Identify the feelings of others and empathise before responding
  • Identify their own feelings and think about their response in advance
  • Understand that feeling their emotions is okay, but there are healthy ways to express thoughts and feelings without exploding or acting out.


Building emotional resilience

Your child will perceive, respond, and interact with emotions differently from day to day. It is helpful to create time in the day (even for a few minutes) for your child to connect with their emotions. Checking in with your child’s emotions is as simple as the PASTA method:

  • Pause and breathe.
  • Ask how they feel.
  • Say the emotions they feel out loud or write them down.
  • Think about the feelings and sit with them.
  • Ask them what they need.
  • Reflecting and calming will help with this with products like centering cards and mindfulness activities.

Reflecting and calming will help with this with products like our illustrative Centering Cards and the self-reflecting 50 Mindfulness Activities.


Reading,  storytelling & games

Reading,  storytelling & emotional regulation toys play a significant role in helping your child learn about social and emotional regulation techniques. Colourful books, such as our Sometimes I Feel Angry Book, helps children learn about emotions, their responses, and feelings to help them improve their emotional development.

The Social Skills Board Game works on situational emotions, and teaches children in an engaging way about complex social techniques in a fun and easy-to-understand way. 


Interactive toys

Interactive toys, sometimes called social-emotional learning (SEL) toys, have become popular sensory for children to learn social and emotional regulation. Easy to interact with, interactive toys help children explore social interaction and their emotions.

Our range of interactive toys for children and resources for persons of any age for social and emotional regulation includes:

The Feelings Friend: A soft doll with interchangeable facial expressions and illustrated cards. This doll helps your child express their feelings while recognising what others are feeling.

Cubeez: An emotional expression game where players match the face on the Challenge Card by quickly turning, flipping, and positioning three cubes.


Organising playdates & activities

Activities for self-regulation is an excellent way for your child to learn and develop social and emotional regulation skills. When playing with other children, your child needs to understand their emotions, accept others’ emotions, and sometimes let their feelings be released. Games like the Rainbow Target Parachute and Catch Tail Ball can involve teamwork, turn-taking and promoting success that’s worth celebrating. 

Browse our range of social & emotional regulation tools today to give your child the social and emotional regulation support they need. These include: 

  • Being able to sit still, pay attention, and listen and control impulses that can be socially inappropriate, like snatching a toy from a friend.
  • Learning how to take turns when sharing toys and playing games
  • Reflecting on bad behavioural choices and deciding how to behave differently in the future
  • Understanding how to manage their stress when they feel uncomfortable emotions.


Browse our range of social & emotional regulation tools today!

Browse our social & emotional regulation tools and contact us if you have any questions. We are also a proud NDIS-registered provider and are approved to provide classes of support under your participant plan.

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